Sleep Screen With Lavish Proportions


Corrine De Winter
( Springfield, Massachusetts )
Wisdom, Fluttering

Sometimes it becomes clear,
a time when every window beckons
for a life beyond this one,
when the glass itself
spells possibilities as though
a child were behind it in winter
forming words on frost.
Just at the moment you thought
the doors of the past
might keep opening to strange faces,
and adolescent summer afternoons revisited
would hold kind mirrors
up to your face
without flinching,
or creasing the forehead with mistakes.
At about that time
when you believed you had finally
caught wisdom, fluttering in your hands
like a monarch,
It comes back again—
The hour when your life discovers wings,
pushing outward wildly with color
like an April bloom refusing
to let the long, dark months win.

Arlene Ang
( Italy )
Passage to Geras

Transportation becomes the lesser problem
once you've traveled past sixty-five.
Buses cram every stop around you,
destination lit by numbers you'd rather forget.

Leave that seat for the elderly!
A mother spirits her boy by the ears
and apologizes. You accept kindness meekly,
bow to the downcast avoidance of commuters.

The journey was brought about by a slipped disc,
that exuberance to manifest youth to children.
There is no turning back now. Still you writhe
against fear like an earthworm cut into fifths.

Every morning cycles you closer to wheelchairs.
You rise early from unslept bed, hail cabs
with a cane you swore you'd never use
just to watch the town pass by.

Even trees look arthritic beside new shops,
body-piercing services, pubs with half-drunk names.
Behind windows rolled up against fresh air,
you witness your own funeral in slow motion.

Cathy McArthur
( Bayside, New York )
Grow Delphiniums In Your Dreams

the horticulturalist says
object of desire
sleep screen
with lavish proportions
garlands, borders
a longing—survival difficult,
multi-scheme, bones delicate
hollow thirsty stalks
In the pink/blue
zone—pale to shimmering
trumpeted headlines—
delphiniums loathe the weather.
Stems bend, snap.


Overcome with iridescent blues
she tries sleep, eyes, ears closed
rosy end of the spectrum 
under blue blanket
botanical blights lost
body fat, cervix, breasts,
heart her object of desire.
Midnight, she confesses
crushed rows of glamorous 
blooms, her stalking
tall tales.

Michael Allen
( St. Louis, Missouri )
Counter (of the) Revolution

"To search the wards to dig up someone."  
He expected complete obedience, now he gets a rainfall.  
The rain is unpredictable, unreliable.  
Over there, on the table, are stacks of pages
of names and addresses and not just anyone
cared or would consent.  He curses them, 
and wants to do something awful.

"Nice job in preventing us."
The winds begin to blow, and the streets
get wet and messy.   Hail falls.
Riots occur, looting, dancing.
He cringes.  Where was the mandate?
Where are the people?
Primary opponents can't do it all,
and now the people have revolted.

"A bizarre group."
And suddenly, a gale lifts each and every
back issue of his journal into the air,
and scatters them, and people
locate them and use them to keep rows
between vegetables-grown healthy 
with the rain-free of weeds.
So he makes some order in the world.

Dripping, he plans the 
revolution anyway, still working
as the last lovers and clowns have
passed out from too much
fun, too many new opportunities,
too much spontaneous growth.

Peter Roberts, Three Poems
( Mansfield, Ohio )
lake erie, near catawba
(storm impending)

thin-beaten-gold green,
net-like, lace-like,
like leaves interweaving
waves form & re-form
across a surface
of slate-blue sky
reflected in
& out of existence

gliding wordless, grey gliding
in uncalm air, we move on a 
surfaceless surface, through
a plenum of sound, a ubiquitous hum

on the water's bright face
long, sharp flashes of black
appear, reappear, form a faceted void;
beneath windstrewn glow on windblown waters
for an instant, an instant
i see through the surface
into distanceless space

(inconstant interface:
deepnight, water, & sky)

algae on the concord river

time blooms on the river—
green clusters of stars
twist in long galaxies
that merge & stretch downstream.

in transparent
interstices, voids
between the spinning stars,
trees, clouds, & clear blue sky
mingle with smooth streambed stones.

all coalesce in water's skin:
earth below & air above
& algae-stars join river-flows,
fast currents & slow eddies.

sometimes  random ripples start,
unexpected undulations,
spreading from no central source,
distorting all the other flows,
disturbing this small universe.

ode: ono no komachi

stars, like dew on grass,
move a woman's heart & mind —
ink dries on paper.

 .  .  .  .  .  .

the moon shines above
a vacant bed. when will he
come to her again?

in the empty time
her melancholy longing
mixes with night air . . .

& eternity
blooms in this moment for her
— pale cherry blossom.

 .  .  .  .  .  .

these few words of hers,
hard, like smooth, despairing stones,
have traveled the years,

have come down to us,
her anguish fresh & clear, as
if it were our own.

Heather Knowles Cottington
( Ankeny, Iowa )

we laid it all on the table
sat there smoking, drinking,
exposed and fragile
dim bar lighting enveloped us
and rubbed our backs
for a moment the touch didn’t sting
the way it had for months now

the whole scene
felt surreal
déjà vu
and I knew
we had been here before
our fingers ached from writing
highs and holding so tight

I climbed on your swing
or maybe you on mine
we kicked our feet out hard
and rode
pushed farther and past
the safe zone
until we ate clouds
and sun for dessert
embraced each other
to wait for the harsh landing
heavy and intense on cold earth

at least when we fell we landed
on each other
and were ready with bandages
and casts, stitches and antiseptic
kind whispering words
gypsy healing hands

I - Simple Equations
III - Defining Borders
IV - Bodies in the Rain

Featured Poet - Rebecca Loudon

Current Issue - Summer 2004